Mastering is about a lot of things but the biggest compliment I can get as a mastering engineer is that big smile on an artist’s face when they listen to those finished masters and get that rush of pure excitement where they can’t wait to release their music. That’s when I know I’ve done my job well.Luke Garfield | Banana Llama Studios
- Acoustic "Reflections" (Before Mastering) Fear Of Flight 2:02
- Acoustic "Reflections" (After Mastering) Fear Of Flight 2:02
- Indie Electro "She'll Break Your Heart" (Before Mastering) Jack To Lightspeed 1:58
- Indie Electro "She'll Break Your Heart" (After Mastering) Jack To Lightspeed 1:58
- Pop Trap "Look At Me Now" (Before Mastering) Sonny 1:42
- Pop Trap "Look At Me Now" (After Mastering) Sonny 1:42
- Rock "Kick Down The Doors" (Before Mastering) Antechinus 1:18
- Rock "Kick Down The Doors" (After Mastering) Antechinus 1:18
- Alternative "Lines & Power Lines" (Before Mastering) Board of Transportation 2:04
- Alternative "Lines & Power Lines" (After Mastering) Board of Transportation 2:04
First Things First
First up, if you’re an artist who’s new to mixing and mastering you’re in a safe place. You don’t need to feel intimidated. I get calls and emails all the time from musicians who are doing their thing at home on GarageBand or some other DIY setup. That’s all good, you’re still making music that people should hear so don’t hesitate to get in touch.
If you’re a studio guy, mix engineer etc. you know the drill but wait, I get tired of all the pretense around gear and studio speak etc. We don’t have to do that dance. You’ve also come to a safe place. Get in touch if you need your project mastered and let’s have a real conversation and help your client/s out.
Mastering Breakdown Videos
If you are unable to attend a mastering session it can sometimes be a bit of a mystery as to what actually happened to your songs whilst they were being mastered. Wouldn’t it be helpful to have a clear, easy to understand video breakdown of what was done and why as well as feedback and advice on your mixes? We’d certainly like to share this sort of information, this is why we offer mastering breakdown videos for our mastering clients.
What Is Mastering & Is It Necessary?
You can read more in the blog post “What Is Audio Mastering & Is It Necessary?“
The final stage of the recording and production of a song or collection of songs is mastering. Mastering is important for many technical reasons (some explained below) but on an artistic level mastering should:
- Draw the best out of the song or songs you’ve pour all your time, passion and creativity into.
- Bring together a collection of mixed songs as a whole if they are in EP or album format in just the right way.
Banana Llama Studios offers music mastering for all genres, project types including singles, EPs and albums and CD, streaming and download formats. All completed with the attention and care your music deserves.
What is Mastering?
Mastering plays a technical and artistic roll in the finishing of a song, EP or album. Mastering a track should:
- Balance the perceived volume of each track on an album or EP so that there is continuity between each track.
- Balance the tonality of each track e.g. make sure the vocals are of comparable loudness between each track, make sure the bass isn’t too loud in one track or too quiet in another.
- For singles the process is still the same but you’re making your sonic benchmark other similar commercial tracks and the medium that the single will be played on predominantly.
- Correct any issues with individual songs e.g. excessive sibilance in the vocals (harsh s and t sounds that stick out) missed in the mixing process, percussive elements which “pop out”, rogue frequencies which may have been missed because the mixing environment wasn’t neutral etc.
- Bring your finished project to a reasonably loud volume suitable to the genre whilst retaining musical dynamics i.e. not squashing the life out of your mixes but making it commercially comparable.
Find out more about the difference between mixing and mastering?
Should I Get My Music Mastered?
The short answer – heck yes!
As explained above, mastering your music adds continuity to you tracks on an album or EP. It also helps to get your music in the ballpark sonically where other commercial releases sit. Having your track mastered by the engineer who mixed your tracks is generally discouraged because they may lack the perspective to see the finished mix. It’s similar to a painter who frames his own paintings, they may find it hard to the see the finished painting and pick a nice frame because they are still so focused on the process.
My Mate Says He Can Master Music …
Is this the same mate that has a bunch of cracked plugins with some great mastering presets?
Umm .. okay. As mentioned previously, mastering is a continuity, compliance and corrective process. If all your mixes sound the same e.g. the bass is all the same loudness, the top end is the same and the vocals sit exactly the same in each mix and the lower mids are perfectly mixed and … you get the picture (hopefully). The bottom line is that whilst that plugin will probably make the mix louder, punchy and probably pile on bass and tops e.g. “hype” your album or EP will sound cheap and you’ll be doing your music a disservice.
How Much Does Mastering Cost?
Mastering (not necessarily by Banana Llama Studios) can cost as little as $30 up to $160 per track. Generally the more tracks you get mastered the better the price per song is.
Before we talk about price we like to talk to you about your project and what you hope to achieve with the music you’ve spent so much time working on.
In the end, we want to serve your music and give you the best masters and mastering experience we can at a price that works.
Okay, how can I get you to master my mixes?
Glad you asked. First thing to do is either call Luke 0424 579 416 or get in touch to discuss your project. We’ll talk about your vision for the project, reference tracks and any other relevant items. We look forward to hearing from you.
Sometimes mastering can be a bit intimidating if you don’t know what it is. If you’re just getting an idea of mastering prices your quote is completely obligation free. Don’t be afraid to get in touch and have a chat – we don’t bite.
Not on the Sunshine Coast but need mastering or mixing? Not a problem! We can help you with our online mastering service.